Well dressed magic

The old saying goes “Every woman comes with baggage, a gentleman helps her to unpack it” and if that’s the case then my gentleman has not only helped me unpack my bags, he did such a good job I’ve decided to stay as well! Chivalry is not dead, I’ve seen it, it’s alive and kicking and comes in the shape of my handsome new boyfriend who is beaming his happy, elegant vibe on me.

When I was growing up there was talk of princes and princesses but I always ignored it thinking it was an old fairy tale, but now I know there really are knights in shining armour out there walking the streets just waiting to be called on, because I finally found a man who means what he says and says what he means. A bona fide, rare, old fashioned gent who opens doors for me, pulls out chairs, offers me his coat, lifts and carries me over uneven ground, who tells me I’m beautiful first thing in the morning, buys me flowers and makes me dinner.

And I am blissfully happy, not the crazy kind of happy from before – the erratic mood swings, the hot and cold push and pull of rejection, instead it’s a calm, wholesome, safe kind of happy, as if everything is falling into place, which it is. It’s funny because when love finally knocks on your door you stop all of the kicking and fighting, you just let its peaceful lullaby wash over you and everything between you is easy, like rolling off a log or floating down a river.

This special gentleman (let’s call him Mr. Fox because he’s beguiling, quick and clever just like his namesake), is more than I could have wished for and if I ever I had such a thing as a list – well then he is ticking all those little squares and more!

Mr. Fox is kind and thoughtful, caring and sweet, protective and giving. He embodies all the important things to me bundled up in one amazing package. At his core he loves family and comes from a big, happy, messy crew of parents, siblings and children, he’s passionate about music in his life and is governed by the twin laws of rhythm and soul, he adores food in every flavour, shape and form and is happy to wash it down with a good splash of wine.  He has a penchant for classic cars and restores these curvy, vintage ladies himself with loving care. He has a deep love of the sea, salt air, ports and boats and recently discovered the joy and curiosity of travel and other cultures. He has an uncanny connection with children and animals, loves to sing and dance with style and is inspired by design, art and beautiful things. He is the delicious embodiment of manliness and yet gentle when needs be, with a sparkling, shy smile and an uproarious laugh. My well groomed devil is always immaculately dressed, smells great and behaves impeccably – treating me like a lady… now call me old school, but I love it when a man knows how to treat a woman!

Most important of all he has a good, honest, open heart and he listens to me and sees me. I count my lucky stars everyday that we recognised each other second time around, I finally found the man that makes magic happen and for that I am truly grateful…

couple

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Calling In The One

I found The One.

Now that is quite a bold statement and a bit of a shock for me to write and read back, but it’s true. They always say you just know and well I guess I just know? And yes we are talking about me, Miss Kitty who has struggled with the notion of being single for three long, lonely years, through rejection, sadness, stupid dates and silly men. And in four little words I can change my whole life just like that? Well no actually it’s nowhere near as romantic, lucky or serendipitous as it sounds, it boils down to plain old practical, common sense with a touch of silver lining.

I didn’t call him in like a sea siren on a lonely rock amidst stormy seas, I actually called myself in first, truth be told. So really it’s not about him at all, it’s actually all about me. I finally took the time to find out what I needed in my life and gave it to myself.

Yes I admit I did go a bit hippy chick there for a while, diligently doing counselling, a lengthy personal development course called Calling In the One and even reading The Secret. They were great tools to help me step back and look in, but none of these things independently were the answer, in the last few months I’ve made a concerted effort to create big change in my own behaviour, my outlook on life and my quest for love.

If you read this blog, apart from funny dating disasters which are weird and often random, there is a common thread of heartbreak, chasing ghosts, rotten scoundrels and selfish men. The quality and focus of my life was all wrong. I finally realised that I needed to work on the inside stuff first – as trite as it sounds. So finally I lit the fires and guided myself home back to contentment.

I worked through tears and upsets identified my bad habits, found my triggers and this time fixed them for good. In the process I got me some happy and around about the time I started to feel like a room without a roof he showed up and we got on just like a wink and a smile. It really was that easy and that cliched…

We dated before and were tender but we couldn’t quite make it work because our hearts and minds were elsewhere, bound up with other hurts. Now we’ve grown, opened our hearts and can see the best in each other. We have gradually built up our connection, spending lots of time enjoying each others company and exploring the world together. He feels like my best friend, when he holds my hand I feel safe and when he’s not there I miss him. I could say an awful lot more about this gentleman of goodness, integrity and beauty, but instead I will simply say it is the beginning of everything and the end of something and finding him made it all worthwhile…

the one

 

Soul trip

Easter beckons and this year I’ve got an itch I need to scratch, I don’t want another holiday season sitting around contemplating my lonely navel, so it’s time to hit the road, brush off the dust and feel the wind in my hair.

With a long weekend ahead I can escape. Travelling always makes me want to turn the page to see what happens next and after a bumpy first quarter a new chapter is just what I need.

So I’m leaving the shit and the baggage behind, throwing my dogs in the car and I’m driving far, far away on a spiritual journey to please nobody but myself. Who needs chocolate Easter eggs when you have the open road, a favourite mix tape, windswept beaches, starry night skies and tables for one at the best restaurants? I’m going to spoil myself rotten, indulge my inner foodie and I can’t wait!

But most of all I’ll take this time to look back and learn from all the mistakes I’ve made on the way to where I am today. I’m done with over-sharing, over-giving and over-loving with the men in my life and having nothing left in the pot for me. I won’t over-extend myself anymore, this time I will be sharing, giving and loving myself because just like L’Oreal “I’m worth it“.

Happy Easter, may the road rise to meet you too! Lots of love Miss Kitty xx

road trip

Nature or nurture?

I have a very good friend who worries about me, let’s call her Mrs Gyrate (for reasons best not pointed out here!) but suffice to say she worries about me a lot.

Mrs Gyrate is a living a romantic comedy lover’s dream, happily married with a bonny wee baby. She met her husband in a wonderful ‘meet-cute’ moment waiting for a delayed plane at the airport. Fast forward to a surprise proposal on top of the Eiffel Tower in the world’s most romantic capital and a baby that arrived with perfect timing and you pretty much have the synopsis for a classic Hollywood romance.

Am I happy for her? Of course! Am I a teensy bit jealous? Of course! So cutting to the chase hot on the heels of the latest disappointment Mrs Gyrate advises I take a no date, no-man zone approach for the next 6 months.

My lovely friend says I don’t love myself enough, haven’t learned to enjoy being alone and will be stuck in this rut if I continue to ‘chase men’. She believes once I’m ready that nature will eventually take it’s course and my Mr.Darcy/Bradley Cooper/Shining armour Knight will either a) charge up to my door or b) our paths will cross.

Whilst I love the optimism, I disagree. Nature has had plenty of ops with me. In the past 18 months I’ve dated real world and cyber world as well as not dating at all for 6 months on and off last year. And yeah OK I secretly waited wastefully for a certain someone for most of it, but how much of a window does nature need to intervene?

I prefer to take the nurture route because I like to spread the risk and maximize the chances. I like to get out and meet new people, go to new places, do new things, dating after all is only meeting them for a drink and seeing if there’s a faint trace of firelight there? And having an active online profile is a shop window for opportunity should it pass by, no need to chase them down? But I’m the first to admit that often nurturing love can be more like a Sci-Fi, Horror crossover than a Rom-Com, it’s clinical, takes determination and an enormous sense of humour.

Still I’m not comfortable leaving it all up to Mother Nature because her odds are stacked against me. It’s a double whammy of lack of quantity and quality. It’s not like school days or even in our 20s when you could trip over piles of potential suitors just waiting at the bus stop. Finding fellow singletons is like looking for the proverbial needle – sometimes I wish we had invisible New York style cab lights over our heads that lit up when another singleton walked past. And then there’s the men themselves who are are either happily married (no thank you no home wreckers here) or unhappily separated or divorced (great!) or those men who’ve not yet been touched by the hand of marriage but are in Jack-the-Lad mode and still ‘sowing their wild oats’ .

And Mrs Gyrate is right – I don’t particularly enjoy my own company day in day out (Miss Kitty can be a real bore in 24 hour solo surround sound) but I have to get on with it and so I do.

If my dating genie appeared and granted me one wish I guess that it would be to leave it up to Mrs Gyrate’s nature book and have my own serendipitous meet-cute, perhaps at the supermarket when I drop my groceries on the floor, or on the road side while I’m puzzling over a tyre puncture, when my stiletto heel conveniently gets stuck in a manhole on the pavement or when I’m caught short in the rain and have to shelter under an awning… I would love the bells and whistles, harps and unicorns.

But the reality is it only happens in the movies or to a lucky few like my gorgeous, wonderful friend. Of course I could force a Pretty Woman style meet-cute and pull on my brand new thigh high black suede boots (hold up people it’s legit – they are in right now!) and totter downtown looking for Richard Gere but erm… somehow I don’t think that will get me the same fairytale ending?

Pretty woman

Loving by numbers

No one said that finding The One would be easy. let’s face it we know there are multiple possible ones, but by deed or inaction we sometimes miss them in the final mix. I have a good friend who always calls this dating malarkey a numbers game. When I say good friend, he’s actually my ex-partner of 11 years and nearly 3 years on from our parting of the ways he’s just as stuck as I am. He often says to me it’s just a case of try, try and try again.

I think he has a point. A recent study from the UK specialised in crunching the romantic numbers to make some sense of this nonsensical thing called love, and believe it or not they found a pattern. The average woman will kiss 15 men, enjoy two long-term relationships and have her heartbroken twice, not only that but she will also suffer through four disaster dates, be in love twice, live with one ex-partner, have four one night stands and be stood up once before she finally meets ‘The One’.

Phew! It makes me dizzy just thinking about it but when I take a long hard look at it turns out that I am that average woman! I sat down and did some math and so here’s my summary: Kissed: 21 / Long term relationships: 2 / Heartbroken: 2 / Disaster dates: 2 / In love: 2 / Lived with one ex-partner: 1 / One night stands: 3 / Stood up: 1

The study was commissioned for the launch of a new romantic novel called The Rosie Project it’s about one man’s search for love and about love not prescribing to a formula – about it finding us, not us finding it. The author Graeme Simsion said “It’s a reminder that the path to finding a life partner can be a long and rocky one – and indeed is for most of us. All of the disaster dates, mismatched relationships and awkward one night stands can leave many feeling like they are never going to meet their soul mate. But there’s an annoying yet wonderful randomness about it. All those calamities, false starts and heartbreaks never knowing when or if or how “The One” is going to appear in your life.”

Hear that homeboy! And that my dear readers is the single most important reason why I have the Dating Kitty site, it’s my personal chronicle of my weird and wonderful, bittersweet journey through the dating maze to find The One. Like Alice in Wonderland I threw caution to the wind and jumped out of my sad and restrictive relationship down the rabbit hole. It is most certainly not how I expected it to be – not at all. I thought it might take a year tops to meet someone…and yet here I still am three years on.

Some days it is exhilarating and ecstatic but mostly it is depressing, frustrating, scary, hilarious and lonely. I really do hope my life won’t be like this forever, I actually like being in a partnership and I hate being alone. But at the same time I also realise and appreciate that this painful process is all growing and learning and I hope that one day I can look back on it all and marvel at the uncertainty and promise and all the interesting and eccentric characters I met along the way.

Right now though I don’t have a choice except to keep on going and keep on hoping that my number comes up. On a really bad day when I have the mean blues there’s a quote that pretty much sums it up, it’s cheesy but I love it! From Tom Hanks in Castaway upon discovering his one true love and lucky talisman has moved on with her life, remarried and had a baby while he was stuck on his island:

“I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

tide

Mother Knows Best

So here’s the funny thing, I’m back home in the New Year and my mother looks at me and says ‘come on you gotta get back on the horse’. She means the dating horse or more specifically the online dating horse. She obviously is unaware that it is actually a Trojan box of terrors. But since I haven’t been online since September, there are normally 12,000 miles between us and she’s frustrated at not being able to box my ears or give me a hug when I make stupid male-oriented decisions, I decide to humour her, after all ’tis the season of new beginnings right?  So I say OK and one night over a bottle of wine we reactivate and load up my dating profile for laughs and tweaks.

The first thing she and her partner say (‘because now it’s a group intervention right?) is “Oh, don’t say you like Opera, no, no, no, no ,no….. that’s far too high brow” and “Don’t say you like to read Pride and Prejudice – just be normal”. When I protest that I do like Opera they counter in stereo “when was the last time you went?” pause “Exactly! Do you know any men that read Jane Austin? No? Exactly! And men don’t like women who are too posh or superior” so I sigh, grit my teeth and hit the backspace button on my profile. After all what have I got to lose? Seriously, my track record with men is appalling, I have a magnetic appeal it seems for the wrong polar, I attract the weird, heartbroken, lovelorn, obsessed and lost. So maybe it is me that’s the problem and I am putting out the wrong vibes in the first place? Like attracts like right? Maybe I’m a twisted narcissist?

Mum is onto glass three when she really starts letting loose and playing Bingo with prospective mens’ profiles…”Oh now he’s cute, send him a smile go on, go on, oh and he’s an investment banker quick, quick send him a smile!” as she leans over and strikes the mouse! Bing! One cyber smile sent by my mother. “Oh I don’t understand why you’re moaning kid this is fun!” She says perching her glasses on the bridge of her nose to get a better look at ‘ScubaDave’. Before demanding that her partner come in and check his credentials and give us the male thumbs up or down. It is the gladiatorial equivalent of ‘meet the parents’ online.

Upshot is my Mum pinged 7 blokes over the Christmas period (in cahoots with myself of course) but then inevitably and sometimes even begrudgingly I started chatting to them online (see investment banker in my book always rhymes with wanker, but hey ho my mother didn’t go to the same school of life as me). I told them all I was on the other side of the world and that they’d have to wait for a date. As I boarded the plane my Mum looked at me – all worn out by loving a guy who won’t love me back and she shook me by the shoulders (as only a Mother can do) and said “Forget him, he’s waste of space, think about these lovely guys and promise me that you will go for at least one drink with all of them? Promise me? Even if you’re not really that keen? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket love, go and have some fun, distract yourself and have a nice time. Promise?” Oh the blackmail.

The Christmas Batch or The Magnificent Seven – you choose the moniker, have honestly been my salvation. I was a good, diligent girl and I did exactly as my Mummy told me. After all it gets to a point in your life when you are full of blanks and misses and you think maybe my Mum is actually onto something? Maybe I just can’t see it? It took me 6 whole weeks to get through all of them, juggling correspondence and dates, times and venues, well all bar one that is… ‘ScubaDave’ who after rearranging me several times, stood me up for a date on Valentine’s Day (oh the irony). His loss.

And every single one of my Mother’s Picks wanted a repeat date. For the second date; one wanted to go running, one wanted to go salsa, one wanted a casual pizza, one wanted a movie, one wanted an ‘exciting’ dinner and one sent me an enormous bouquet of flowers at work by way of invitation to a second date.

Of this only two made it through the initial steeplechase and one in particular only by calling me on the phone and pleading with me to reconsider and be ‘less harsh’? Huh? Harsh who me? This is me the doormat, remember, the one that gets stomped on?

And one went the distance all the way and we are on date 9. It’s a one horse race now, I shut down my profile 2 weeks ago because actually I’m not interested or looking at anybody else. This man makes me laugh and hours dissolve happily in his company. He is a true gentleman who is courting me (much to my Mother’s delight), old fashioned style, no rush, no seeing each other everyday or hopping into bed. This is slow dating… and actually after all the flakey men with empty promises I kinda like it! It’s nice to be treated like a lady and respected. It’s nice to know a date is a date and he’ll turn up. To be picked up and driven to a quiet little place and romanced slowly. A compliment about my outfit, a touch on the arm, a kiss on the cheek. How nice. So yes, I gotta admit that maybe Mother does know best, just please don’t tell her, she’ll be unbearable x

mother-daughter-shrug

Love signs

Hi honey I’m home… and I’m feeling more buoyant than ever!

What is it about 2014? I don’t know but I’ve got a feeling it will be a vintage year and not before time. Out with the old and in with the new? Really I’m a dog woman but even I’m feeling lucky in this Year of the Horse. Maybe I am a true Saggitarian after all – the gambler of the zodiac?

A very wonderful woman came into my life recently – a laid back, spiritual Californian with a bent for Feng Shui. Yes darling I’ve been feng’d – or more appropriately my life and house have been tuned and tweaked to find the right ‘happy’ vibrations. She pointed out that my entire decor and interior feel was channeling situations that have been occuring in my life “did you know your house is full of single women and groups of women in threes?”. She shoots from the hip this lovely American… and blow me down if she isn’t hitting the proverbial on the head. My artwork, objet d’art, magazines are all clusters of threesomes or instead solemn looking lonely women. No wonder I’ve been miserable, lonely and trapped in a non moving, love triangle with a guy who has three women in his life.

Three’s a crowd but two’s company, so I’ve done my homework and turfed out all my trios and singles and brought in the cavalry – the ‘twos’. Everywhere you look now I have cosy, comforting, canoodling pairs. Lovebirds and hearts rule at my gaff! And that’s not all this spiritual angel did she also took the time, care and love to prescribe me a room by room remedy for last year’s malaise and I am taking my medicine!

Strangely somehow things are getting lighter and brighter. I’ve been noticing odd, little things too, small signs and indications. They appear randomly but have a common strand. Roses are a big theme – how delightful of all the possible signs – the symbol of first love, romantic love, eternal love. I’m seeing, uncovering or receiving them everywhere! I got two red roses in one week followed by a bouquet with pure, white roses the following week (all from different people) then rose scented gifts, rose inspired artwork, rose tattoos, rose signage and rose names all around. Strange but true. It seems a rose by any other name is actually an incurable romantic!

How weird and yet how fitting? So thank you to my own lovely Californian rose for opening my eyes again to what’s around and tuning me into the universe’s telepathy! Dare I say that if the love signs are to be believed I think that something this way comes?

Miss K x

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